Some churches are thinking about postponing Easter until after the Corona-Virus has subsided and we can all be together again. In a way that makes sense. It's hard to think of not being together during our holiest week or on our holiest day. Easter is supposed to be a big party! After all we are celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus! It's meant to be a day of hope and life. I get the argument for waiting. After all, no one loves a party more than Audubon Park Church!
But this year, we will celebrate Easter on April 12th. It won’t be in person, it will be entirely online. It will still have incredible music, an inspiring message, and (God-willing) it will still be sunny outside. But it will also feel different. We won't all gather in the fellowship hall for Easter Breakfast, there won't be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids on the church lawn, and we may not feel as hopeful as we have in past years. But this is exactly why I think it is so important to celebrate Easter, not later, but in two weeks. We need it.
The Gospel of John tells us that the Easter story didn’t start in the daylight but started “while it was still dark” (John 20:1). Easter eventually led to celebration, but it began while people were still mourning the loss of their teacher and Lord. It started in a time of isolation, loneliness and disappointment. That is where Easter starts, and that is part of what makes it so hopeful. Easter crashed into a world that seemed dark, and pointed to a new day that was just beginning to dawn.
We need a message and morning of hope now more than ever. So Audubon Park Church will be celebrating Easter worship on April 12th. Though the service will be online, I still want you to invite your family and friends to join you for worship. The good news is that now it doesn't matter where they live, what time zone they’re in, or whether or not they can get out of the house. Now EVERYONE can join you for an hour dedicated to hope. Church, these are strange times, but they are also hopeful times. While this is not how we would ever have planned to celebrate Easter, this year may just be the biggest most important Easter yet.
-- Pastor Geoff Helton